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Copley High School senior Arman Samouk is the WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for March 24th-April 1st.

Arman recently competed in his third-straight wrestling state championships in Columbus and took a 5th place finish. Samouk wrestled at the 285 pound weight class.

Arman is a solid athlete at Copley, as he was a key member on the Indian football team where he received All-Ohio honors as a defensive lineman. He also received All-District and All-Suburban League honors.

In addition to his athletic feats, Samouk is also two-time Academic All-Ohio member.

Samouk has loved his experience at Copley, as he has been involved in the National Honor Society was a volunteer at many school activities.

"I have really enjoyed school," says Samouk. "I will miss Copley."

Arman will attend Columbia next year to begin classes to become a doctor.

"I have always wanted to be in the Medical field," Samouk says. "I visited Columbia and Pennsylvania, but fell in love with Columbia."

Samouk currently carries a 4.05 GPA at Copley, and he plans to play football at Columbia.

This week, our 1590 WAKR male Student Athlete of the Week is Jeremy Struckel from Barberton High School.

At first glance, Jeremy would appear to be a basketball player, standing at 6'7. While he did play hoops his freshman year, Jeremy runs cross country for the Magics. It was his mother that pushed him to try cross country, as she wanted to see him play a sport alongside his older brother.

Jeremy rolled the dice and went with cross country, eventually falling in love with the sport, and has been running ever since. One of things that Jeremy enjoys about cross country is working hard to bring down his run times.

Being a senior, Jeremy is keeping his options open as it pertains to colleges. He mentioned having an interest in orthodontics, and said Ohio State had a great program he would like to check out.

We here at WAKR wish Jeremy the best in his future endeavors.

This week, our 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is senior girls basketball player Jodi Johnson.

Jodi said it was an incredible experience winning the state championship last weekend, the second in school history. Even more exciting was the players from the 1997 state championship team giving encouragement to the players ahead of the Division I final.

"That was unbelievable, we started hearing from some of the players, they were flying in from Florida and Texas," she said.

"As we were coming out of the tunnel, they were giving us high fives as we got out to the court, so it was an awesome for us, and then as well."

Jodi says her teammates are like family and she says she treasures her journey with her fellow Lady Grizzlies over the past four years.

"We're just one big family, and there's no other way to describe it," Johnson explained.

Johnson will continue her academic and athletic career at Ashland University. She said it was the program and the proximity to home which sold her on Ashland. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Manchester High School’s Alyssa Matheny is the WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for March 11th-March 18th.

Alyssa, a junior, is a track-and-field standout for Panthers, competing in both the high jump and the long jump. She is no stranger to this sport, having three sisters also competing in track-and-field events.

In addition to track, Alyssa is a solid player, as well. On her soccer season, she says “it was really enjoyable. I enjoy my team and my coaches, and I think that helps the season out a lot."

How can Alyssa balance out athletics and academics? "It’s all about time management,” she said.

Being a junior, she has colleges in mind, but has yet to make a decision on where to go. However, Alyssa has interest in running track after high school, and majoring in the medical field.

Wadsworth senior wrestler Noah Baughman is the WAKR Student Athlete of the Week for March 11th-March 18th.

Last week, Noah won his second state wrestling championship in three years, winning the state title at the 120 pound weight class. Baughman won as a sophomore at 106, and took a third place finish as a junior at 113.

"This was certainly the high point of my career at Wadsworth winning for the second time," said Noah. “Even better than the first."

"Just a tremendous young man," said Wadsworth head Wrestling Coach John Gramuglia. “[I’m] so happy for him, as I have been around him since he was in the youth programs here at Wadsworth. Just happy for him."

Wrestling is in the family bloodline, with Noah's older brother Christian currently wrestling at Lake Erie College. The younger brother, Luke, was a state qualifier this year for the Grizzlies.

"As the final seconds ticketed down, I was just trying to win, thinking of nothing else,” Noah recalled. “It was a great moment ,and one I will never forget."

Noah will be majoring in business at Cornell University, while also being a member of the school's wrestling team. He currently carries a 4.0 GPA.

This week, our 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Dani Carlson, senior basketball player from Archbishop Hoban High School.

Carlson says that her love for the game started in fourth grade, and while playing at Hoban these past four years, she has bonded well with her teammates and knows the importance of teamwork.

"(Basketball) gives you 15 sisters that you have for life," Carlson says. "I think this season we had the most team bonding and team chemistry we've ever had in my past four years, our practices were hard, but it prepared us for games, and we've worked hard 24-7."

Carlson was key for the Knights during the season and in the playoffs as well, posting up some good numbers and some hustle plays against Marlington and

Norton in the District Semifinal and Final, respectively. In addition to the hard work on the basketball court and in the classroom, Dani also excels on the softball diamond as well.

Dani plans on being involved in the game by pursuing a possible career in sports medicine or a related field, and plans on attending either John Carroll University or the University of Dayton after graduation.

The 1590 WAKR Male Student Athlete of the week is Michael Connalley from Buchtel High School.

Michael is a two-sport athlete in his junior year and Buchtel, and competes not only in football, but basketball as well. Michael has found a nice balance between sports and being a great student

Because Michael is only in his junior year, his college options are still wide open. He said his mother really pushes and motivates him to excel in the classroom. Being a teacher herself, she knows the importance of a good education, and has instilled that into Michael at an early age. His mother continues to reinforce the importance of education to this day.

During his time at Buchtel, Michael has put together a list of accomplishments that include being named first-team all-city and second-team all-district.

We at WAKR look forward to seeing what Michael can do in his senior year and on into college.

Tallmadge sophomore basketball player Matthew Francesconi is the WAKR Male Student Athlete of the Week for February 26th-March 4th.

Matthew is the leading scorer for a much-improved boys basketball team at Tallmadge.

"It has been nice being part of this turnaround, and the added playing time has certainly made me a more productive player," says Francesconi.

Matthew is all basketball, as he has had a basketball in hand since birth. His older brother Andrew, a 2015 graduate of Tallmadge, is now a hoopster at the University of Mount Union.

"He taught me so much about the game," Francesconi said. "He helps me every day."

Matthew averages over 18.0 ppg while running the team from the point guard position. The Blue Devils have had a nice comeback season under Coach Mike Bluey.

Francesoni also is a volunteer coach in the Tallmadge area, while also participating in a number of clubs during the school year, including Spanish Club.

"My game has improved in so many ways since the start of the season," said Francesconi. "With me thrown in as a point guard, my passing, shooting, and confidence are all really high right now."

Matthew carries a 4.0 GPA, and once college roles around for him, he will be looking to get a business degree.

This week, our 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is senior basketball player Jessie Stout of Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

Stout says she's been playing basketball for a long time, and that she enjoys the game.

"I started basketball since first grade, and I've always loved the game," says Jessie. "So I just kept with it."

Stout is a three-sport athlete, including competing in track and field during the spring, as well as cross country during the fall.

She says on the basketball court, having a solid team chemistry is the key to success, as the Lady Bulldogs are in the midst of a playoff run.

"We have a good team bond, and we work really well together," says Stout.

Head coach Bob Podges of Stow says he appreciates Jessie's hard work and leadership both on and off the court, as well as her mental toughness in playing through injury.

Jessie plans on playing basketball at nearby Notre Dame College, majoring in biology.

This week's female 1590 WAKR Student Athlete of the Week is Macy Chik from Barberton High School.

A standout athlete for the Magics, Macy began playing basketball at age 7. "I've had the best experiences in basketball," she says. "I've made a lot of great friends (over the years)."

In addition to being a star basketball player, Macy also excels in soccer, as well.

Macy has been a longtime resident of Barberton, and plans to stick around the area in the future. She plans on attending Kent State University, majoring in Radiology. Macy decided this major within the last year, as she has a strong interest in ultrasound.

We here at 1590 WAKR wish Macy the best in her future endeavors.

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